Sound — 10
First of all, I play a ridiculous variety of music, so it's kind of difficult for me to find guitars that are versatile enough for me, but this one manages it, somehow. I play classical, jazz, blues, metal, classic rock, and anything else I find cool. The first thing I noticed about this guitar when I was considering buying it was the great range of sounds it produces. Each different pickup setting has a very unique character to it, distorted or clean, and the tone nob really seems to go the extra mile. I've used it on several amps, at various friends' houses and the store where I bought it, and it sounds decent even on a little piece of crap ten watt. I use a Fender 25R at home (yeah, laugh it up, I don't have a job) and this guitar manages to sound not too bad through that. On larger amps, this has a BIG sound to it, and tends to emphasize the bass end, so you have to adjust some settings if you want your treble to really cut. It's a bit noisy on the middle single pickup, but the other settings are pretty clean (better than expected in this price range). You also get some overtones from the springs in the back with the Floyd Rose, I'll have to cusion them with something. Overall, I'd say the guitar sounds smooth and clear, even when distorted. Usually, the Floyd can cause an intense, bright, harsh sound, but that's not the case here. It just seems to give the sound a certain rich precision, comparable to Steve Vai on the Ibanez Jem. Acoustic sound is great, which is the number one feature I look for in any guitar. If a guitar sounds like crap unplugged, no amount of hardware upgrades can fix it entirely (you might end up paying for a guitar loaded with the best electronics available, though). Playing unplugged this guitar sounds crisp and confident with good volume projection. Overall it has excellent sound for any kind of music, especially for a low-mid priced guitar.
Overall Impression — 10
This guitar is excellent. It plays any style of music I've thrown at it so far, and it's tons of fun to play. Anything else I've played for under $1000 is blown clean out of the water by this guitar, and for about half the price of some of the others. I'm sixteen and I've been playing classical guitar for ten years and rock for five. I frequently play those two styles and everything in between (whatever the hell I feel like) on this guitar, and it keeps up fine. It looks like a badass metal machine, especially the all black one, but its pretty sophisticated deep down inside. If it were stolen or lost? I wouldn't lose a guitar like this, and once I was done with the poor bastard who stole it I'd probably get this same guitar again one way or another. Bottom Line: Buy it before they start charging what it's worth.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
This axe was very well set up out of the factory. The store had to adjust it a bit, but there was nothing major out of whack. It plays really well, the action is hella low and the strings and fretboard feel great on the fingers. The neck is a bit fatter than I would normally choose, but somehow it plays as easily as many of the thinner necks. It has a tiny bit of a flattened cross-section, again, not my usual choice, but I guess you can't judge a book by its cover: After a day of playing on it I loved it. It has a very agreeable, smooth yet powerful feel to it. No flaw has reared its ugly head yet, and I have a feeling nothing major will go wrong with it. The finish seems good, and there's no looseness/buzzing/rusting/crookedness that I've found; Godin does a good job on quality control.
Features — 10
- Neck: rock maple - Fingerboard: rosewood w/radius 12" - Body: silverleaf maple center w/poplar wings - Nut: locking - Scale: 25 1/2" - Bridge: licenced, low-profile, floyd rose - Frets: 22 medium jumbo - Neck pickup: Godin NHN2 - Middle pickup: Godin NSM2 - Bridge pickup: Godin NHB2 - Controls: 5-way pickup Switch, volume and tone.